Serious fun in Water!
The world of water: http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapr/484776493/
“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” (Chinese proverb)
At the start of this week, we opened Water! – a demo Moodle course designed to show not what Moodle can do but primarily what people can do with Moodle (while of course showing some Moodle features). Big difference between the two!
The response has been phenomenal! We got to ‘capacity crowd’ of 40 within 36 hours of me sending the first tweet about it. 40 people, mostly moodlers but not all, are happy to spend approximately two to four hours over the next few weeks and play students, most under fake names, to generate sample course data. And they seem to be really enjoying it (well, most of them at least…).
Water! is a very simple course about something that we all use and need – safe, clean, fresh drinking water. It does not require a great depth of content knowledge at all. It features just a few standard, out-of-the-box Moodle activities and it isn’t linear. Deliberately, NO knowledge of Moodle is necessary to participate – just a basic ability to click, link, upload and follow a few instructions. The only two things needed are an open mindset and imagination.
For now, Water! is there for us to gather sample data. Once we generate enough of it (posts, replies, answers, questions, attempts, submissions, comments, pictures, links etc…), we will then offer the course (together with sample data and explanation of every activity!) for free to anyone to enrol in and play in, even download for their own place of learning for people to get involved and have a play in this ready-made sandpit.
Because the Chinese proverb at the top is right on. Being a student in something first, where you get to see real examples, get to try and safely muck things up a little with others and just like others, but at the same time SEE and get ideas you could use in your own context is sorely needed in supporting our kids and educators. And not just in using Moodle either…
Now, this is the first taste of Moodle’s new educational demo site. The idea is to have courses like Water! in up to ten broad areas of learning (eg. Arts & Media, Maths, Language, Second Language, Natural Sciences etc). These courses will not go to great depth of content knowledge or technological knowledge (ie Moodle features), both of which often make things hard to understand, but to tickle that area that really makes it all go – sound pedagogical use.
I am passionate about Moodle but I am helluva lot more passionate about great teaching and learning with it.
PS. If you would like to give Moodle a try and actively participate as a ‘demo student’ in the upcoming courses similar to Water!, please head over to http://mec.moodle.net and create an account. I will register your email and send you a notice when the next course becomes open (as stated, Water! filled within 36 hours!) if you wish. NO Moodle experience necessary!